[JURIST] A Russian court ruled Tuesday that Russian law defines marriage as between a man and a woman, affirming a registry office's refusal to recognize a marriage between two women. The couple, Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko, applied for a marriage license in March, but were refused by the registry. They appealed to the Tverskoi District Court in Moscow, arguing [RIA Novosti report] that nothing in the Russian Constitution [text] prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The court, however, refused [Reuters report] to overturn the registry's decision. Fedotova-Fet and Shipitko plan on marrying in Canada later this month.
Gay rights have been a contentious issue worldwide with little global consensus. In August, Portugal's highest court [JURIST report] failed to find a right to same-sex marriage in the Portuguese Constitution. In June, Ireland passed a bill [JURIST report] giving same-sex partners certain rights. Sweden legalized [JURIST report] same-sex marriage in April. In November, the parliament of Burundi criminalized homosexuality, and the Supreme Court of Nepal approved same-sex marriages [JURIST reports]. In the US, same-sex marriages are now permitted in six US states, with New Hampshire passing same-sex marriage legislation [JURIST report] in June.